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Members of the public are encouraged to attend the upcoming traffic safety meeting to voice their opinion regarding a proposed speed change in Alpha.

There has been a lot of concern about changing the speed limit in Alpha on State Highway 70 after the Department of Transportation (DOT) held a meeting in Wood River about the possibility of changing the speed limit from 40 mph to 55 mph.

State Highway 70 from Siren to Grantsburg is 55 mph except when it goes through Falun and Alpha when it drops to 40 mph.

The meeting is the quarterly traffic safety meeting and will be held on Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. at the Government Center.

The stretch that is proposed to be raised to 55 mph includes entrances to Nelson Primary School and the Burnett Dairy Cooperative.

Burnett County Highway Commissioner Mike Hoefs reported to the infrastructure committee last month what the DOT plans were.

Hoefs said the DOT plans to raise the speed limit to 55 mph through Alpha, eliminate some entrances to the dairy cooperative and adding a turning lane to the middle of the road.

The Sentinel published an article on the proposal in January and the response on Facebook was overwhelmingly not in favor of the change.

One person on Facebook pointed out that that section is already dangerous for dairy employees attempting to cross the street with cars driving past going 40 mph.

“Terrible idea, someone’s going to get killed. Looks great on paper drafted from a safe warm desk. I bet their friends and family don’t live around here,” the comment explained.

Other comments on the Sentinel’s story on Facebook were similar.

“Minnesotans complaining about the speed on their way flying through to their cabin, I’m sure.”

There were a number of comments pointing out of state visitors and Nelson school. A representative from DOT, Jennifer Berg will be attending the meeting.

Hoefs said he was unsure if any decisions will be made at the meeting but added there may be a discussion on developing a strategy for the project.